How to Submit Stories to Hallmark for TV Movies
You have an idea for a Hallmark movie. Your script is written, edited and perfected. You practically can see the actors and actresses who will bring your creation to life. Your next step is submitting to Hallmark. Or so you think. Unfortunately, Hallmark doesn't accept unsolicited scripts, or ideas of any sort. In order to submit your brainchild to Hallmark, you'll have to take another, less direct route, by way of an agent.
Begin working on your query letter. In order to pitch your idea through correspondence, you'll be required to submit a query letter. Should your letter pique the interest of its recipient, they'll request to see part or all of your script. The first step in creating a query letter is crafting your hook.
Search your cable guide. The best examples of successful hooks are found in the movie descriptions you see every day. Turn on your television or pick up a TV Guide and read the descriptions of movies in your chosen drama. They often are limited to one or two tantalizing sentences. One way to do this is by drawing the reader in with a premise or high-stakes scenario.
Summarize your script into a single paragraph or summary. Read the summaries of your favorite movies on Blockbuster, Netflix or IMDB.com for examples of what works. Also known as a log line, these summaries offer a synopsis of the plot and draw you in with an emotional hook.
Write a short bio, focusing on your publishing credits. If you haven't any, focus on what makes you ideal to write this script. This isn't a time for empty rhetoric. Point to interests, experiences, whatever has bled through to the body of your script.
Assemble the letter, with the first paragraph consisting only of your one to two-line hook, your second the single paragraph summary or logline and the third as your bio. Polish and edit. Step away for a few days, then return to polish and edit again.
Search for an agent. Not all literary agents represent scripts, so it's important that you utilize resources to target your search. Use books that list agents especially interested in representing scripts, or perform targeted searches on literary agent search engines, selecting those who represent scripts to contact.
Send your query letter only, unless otherwise instructed, to the agents you've found. Those who are interested will contact you for your script. Should an offer be extended to you for representation, indicate a desire to submit your script to Hallmark. The agent will do just that.
Shewanda Pugh attended Alabama A&M University, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in political science. She also holds a Master of Arts in writing from Nova Southeastern University. Pugh's work has been featured in several print publications, including the "Farquhar Forum," "Go!Riverwalk" and "Foreword Magazine."